What is Lip Reduction Surgery?

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  • Written By: Douglas Bonderud
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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Lip reduction surgery, also known as cheiloplasty, is a type of plastic surgery in which the lips are reduced in size and made symmetrical. While less popular than its counterpart, lip augmentation, lip reduction surgery is sought after by those with either naturally over-sized lips or who have had some kind of trauma or disease. Doctors commonly perform this surgery for aesthetic reasons, but in some cases it can be necessary if the functioning of the lips has been compromised due to their size.

This procedure can performed by a plastic or a maxillofacial surgeon, and may take place in a doctor's office, hospital, or clinic. Lip reduction surgery takes about 15 to 30 minutes to complete, and will require only regional or local anesthetic. After surgery, patients may be asked to wait up to two hours before leaving the medical facility to make sure their vital signs are stable.

The operation itself typically consists of creating an incision on the inside of the lip and peeling away either a layer of skin or mucus membrane. This causes the lip to shrink and become less noticeable. The goal is to create lips which are proportionate to the size of the face and to each other. If both lips are being reduced, they will done at the same time. The incisions will be closed with sutures, which may be either dissolvable or require a second visit to be removed.


Recovery from lip reduction surgery generally includes sleeping with the head raised and limitations on diet. Both of these are suggested for a period of seven to 14 days after surgery. The diet restrictions typically cut out any food with high acidity levels or with intense flavors. Also, patients are cautioned against running their tongues over the incision site, or picking at the sutures with their teeth.

Complications from the surgery can include numbness of the lips, which may or may not be permanent. Also, there may be lumps or scar tissue present if the lips do not heal properly. There is also the possibility that the lips will be asymmetrical, even if the incisions heal well. This can be corrected, but will require another surgery.

The cost of lip reduction surgery ranges from $900 US Dollars (USD) to $2000 USD. Prices will usually vary depending on the surgeon, as well as the type of anesthetic or sedation used during the procedure. This is considered to be both a low-cost and low-risk plastic surgery.


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Post 5

I've had a big bottom lip all my life and I'm a guy. I'd figure that I would get compliments on it but a few people make fun of me and surprisingly, some are girls. I'm definitely considering this.

Post 4

I had lower lip reduction 10 days ago, and I am still waiting for the stitches to disappear because I need to get back to work. Can anyone help me regarding this?

Post 3

I had my lip reduction surgery one month ago. The procedure went fine, I felt little pain afterward and didn't even have anesthesia when the stitches were being removed. The swelling and numbness is also gone now.

The only issue is that I don't really see a difference in the size of my lips. I didn't want a dramatic reduction in the first place, I just wanted them to be a little smaller. But they look the same to me as before.

I've talked to my doctor about this and he said that I won't see the results until after the 3 months are up. So I still have 2 months to see if it really worked or not.

Is there a possibility that the surgery didn't work? Will they really become smaller after 2 more months?

Post 2

@ddljohn-- A lot of people think that way. That's what most of my friends said when I said I was considering lip reduction surgery.

I don't think trends matter because if a face feature looks so out of place that it makes you feel uncomfortable and unhappy with yourself, it's better to change it in a way that is more satisfying.

I had always been conscious of my full lips and I was made fun of throughout my school and adolescent years because of them. I have a small face and small nose and a huge pout that doesn't fit the rest of my features. It had started to affect my overall self-esteem and interaction with other people when I decided to have the surgery.

It's been three years and I'm so glad that I had it done. I don't feel bad about my looks anymore and my lips actually look "normal."

Post 1

I can't imagine anyone wanting plastic surgery for lip reduction. But that's probably because I have really thin lips and I've wanted bigger, fuller lips all my life.

I understand that this surgery might be necessary for health reasons, but I think aesthetically, everyone wants big lips in this age. That appears to be the trend among the rich and famous anyway. And most of my friends who don't want to have surgery done or who can't afford it try to get bigger lips with lip infusion products and treatments.

I think big lips look sexy and I admire both men and women who have them. If only I was lucky enough to be born with them!

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